Eye Primer -NYX - HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base
joyonicity 1/19/2013 7:13:00 PM
Wow. I thought the ever-so-popular UDPP would be my HG primer forever and always, but I ran out a couple days ago and needed some primer for a night out. Didn't want to go all the way to the mall for Sephora, so I just grabbed this from a nearby drugstore for about $6. It felt a little oily on my lids (which are already quite oily), but it really captures eyeshadow and makes it stay put. I woke up the next day (a little bit hungover, lol) having forgotten to take off my face the previous night and my eye makeup still looked perfect. I was also using Coastal Scents eyeshadow - if anyone else is familiar with them, their bright matte colors tend to be a little chalky, but with this primer they all looked the same color as they did on the palette. I also use a little bit on my nose because I use a taupe eyeshadow to contour, and that stays put all day as well. No breakouts either. I think this primer works as well as, if not better than UDPP. Since it's less than half the price of UD, I'll definitely be repurchasing this. My only annoyance is the packaging; it's not bad by any means but I would prefer if it came in a tube where I could squeeze out the primer, instead of having me apply it with a lip-gloss like applicator. More sanitary imo, but not big enough of a deal to take off a lippie.
Palettes -Coastal Scents - 36 Smokey Eyeshadow Palette
joyonicity 1/18/2013 10:36:00 AM
First, before I get into the actual product, I'd like to say Coastal Scents has great customer service and fast shipping. On Sunday, I asked a few questions about the palettes and was responded to within an hour. On Monday evening, I put in my order. On Tuesday, it was shipping, and on Thursday I received it! The only complaint I have is the shipping price (about $8) which made the palette I got on sale nearly as expensive as it would've been full-price, and it came in a MASSIVE package - like, 2 feet by 6 inches filled with bubble wrap. I'm glad they took so much care to prevent the makeup from breaking, though. Anyway, I was really excited to get this palette in the mail because this is my first one with any bright colors. Because of the price, I didn't have super high expectations for the shadow quality, so I wasn't surprised when some of them were a bit chalky - most of the mattes are a little chalky and have some fallout. Nothing a decent shadow primer cant solve, though. However, I was pleased that the more low-key colors, which I would be using the most no doubt, were all pigmented and smooth, almost creamy. The coral-based smokey set (top left corner), for example, goes on true to color without a primer. Unfortunately I can't really see the matte colors going on smoothly or lasting all day without a primer, but I always use one anyway so it's not a problem. I also love how the palette is essentially 6 small palettes that can each create a different color-based smokey look. Like I said, I generally prefer neutrals, so I won't be using the brighter ones that often, but it's nice to have them on hand. I was also debating on getting the creative me #1 palette (the very bright one) and this one, and I'm glad I ended up getting this one. Many of the creative me colors are similar to ones included in this one. I'd probably repurchase for the great value. Minus one star because I only give 5 lippies to shadows of UD quality :P
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
joyonicity 1/14/2013 8:54:00 PM
Despite loving Urban Decay eyeshadows and trying out literally dozens of eyeliners before, I hadn't tried this particular eyeliner until a few weeks ago. I picked it up at Sephora when my Makeup Forever Aqua Liner dried out (after about a year of use) and was looking for something different. I can finally do a perfect cat eye look as seen here in Michelle Phan's Angelina Jolie makeup tutorial (http://i.imgur.com/rjkYO.jpg), and pretty easily. The formula is truly waterproof, which I feel is important because you never know when you'll be crying, sweating, stuck in the rain, or thrown into the pool... Yes, I've had that happen. It's very long-lasting - I slept in my makeup accidentally this weekend and the eyeliner was still perfect in the morning, although it flaked a bit when I rubbed my eyes. It's also a very deep, matte black. The finish is a bit glossy, which some people don't like, but I don't mind. The minus one lippie is because I don't like the super thin brush that much - I'd rather it be like a marker brush, thicker at the base with a pointy tip. This means it takes longer to draw the thick parts of the cat eye shape, but it's not a big deal. I also feel the formula is a bit watery; sometimes if I blink too rapidly it will smudge a bit before it dries, but that's not a big deal either. All in all this eyeliner is great, but not an HG. Nevertheless I will most likely repurchase once this tube is done unless I find something better.
Styling Products -Oscar Blandi - Jasmine Oil Serum
joyonicity 1/14/2013 12:41:00 AM
I just received this as a gift from a friend who purchased two for the price of one on Amazon, and I first tried it about a week ago. First take: after using a dime-sized blob in damp hair (I have waist-length hair, and a lot of it, although it's very fine), my hair instantly felt a little silkier and looked a little shinier. I already have good hair thanks to genetics though, so I didn't see a huge improvement. A week later, it's still doing as good a job it did on the first day. Since it does have silicones in it, I'm rinsing my hair with vinegar once a week for deep cleansing. Will continue to monitor this product. I don't really feel like this serum does anything more than drugstore serums, though. The only thing that really sets it apart is, as a few other reviewers have expressed, the amazing jasmine smell, but you can easily duplicate that with some concentrated jasmine perfume oil or essential oil. The smell also fades very quickly for me. All in all, I was pleased with, but not impressed by this product. I'll finish using the bottle I have, but because of the price ($35 for 1.7 floz, which is a standard perfume bottle size) I will not repurchase when I run out.
Okay, I finally found my HG concealer. In the past few years, I've gone through many popular high-end and drugstore concealers alike, including Dior, YSL, MAC, and Makeup Forever. My favorite one prior to this was the Diorskin Sculpt concealer, but for some reason I feel as though all concealers slide off my face after a couple hours. I have combo skin, but the oily areas aren't super oily. This concealer comes in a small round compact complete with a little mirror, with heavy coverage on one side and medium on the other. This line has a ton of colors, so I was able to find one that matched fairly easily, and while I felt the concealer itself was a bit hard when I first opened it, it is easy to apply and blend, and has great coverage. When I'm lazy, I don't wear foundation under it and it still looks perfect. Love it! The only weird thing I noticed is that I have to blend it EXTREMELY well or it will show up lighter in flash photos, but it looks like perfect skin in normal light. Not a big deal, they must have illuminator in it or something... but I thought it was strange.
I really like this highlighter. I have combo NC25 skin that's been a bit dry lately due to the cold weather, and this highlighter, when applied under my brows and on my cheekbones, instantly makes my face look luminous and radiant. I do feel it's a bit too shimmery. Close-up, you can definitely see tiny sparkles on my face - which is fine for night-time or from far away, but it still bothers me just a bit. I've started applying it under my bb cream and rubbing them together on my checkbones, and that makes it look perfect.
This is the first Urban Decay palette of my own, although I sometimes use my roommates' vice and naked 2. I couldn't resist picking it up today when I went into Sephora looking for a contouring palette - the eyeshadow textures are smooth, and almost creamy despite being powders. I use faint (a milk chocolate brown) for my brows and naked 2 (taupe) for contouring my nose. Crave (black) is great when you wet an eyeliner brush and apply. As stated by other reviewers, all the colors are matte except venus (pearly/shimmery beige), which is a great highlighter color as it's luminous without being sparkly. All colors are very pigmented and all beautiful! I couldn't justify spending the money on the naked and naked 2 palettes because I knew I wouldn't use all the colors, but this size is perfect for me, as well as very portable. Complaints: the packaging - while the palette itself is well-built and of what seems like a high-quality rubbery plastic, I don't like how it closes/opens. A bit too difficult, but not annoying enough to dock a lippie. I also think the two matte lighter colors, Foxy and Wall of Shame, are too similar. I'm already not a huge fan of light eyeshadows so I can tell I won't be using either much. I would prefer if one of them was a little different in color or finish to set them apart. Despite this I will definitely repurchase if I ever run out. I still can't get over the colors being perfect for contouring my face, since it's supposed to be an eyeshadow palette.
BB Cream -Skinfood - Mushroom Multi Care BB Cream SPF 20 PA+
joyonicity 1/3/2013 10:39:00 PM
I've been pretty interested in bb creams since the craze from Asia hit the States, and I've tried a handful from Sephora, including Smashbox, Urban Decay, and Christian Dior. This one, however, is the only one that I actually really liked. I don't need much coverage, so I don't know if this cream provides enough of that for people who do want it. What I want in a bb cream is evening out skin tone, a dewy but not shiny finish, moisturizer, SPF, and most importantly, I do NOT want to feel like I'm wearing makeup. I hate the caked-up makeup feeling - I'm fine with wearing eyeliner/shadow on just my eyes but having foundation all over my face is really uncomfortable for me. This bb cream accomplishes all of that, especially the last thing. I really just feel like I put on some lotion in the morning and that's it. All the other bb creams I've tried feel no different from foundation to me. In a review I read on this bb cream on a beauty blog, this cream was described as slightly runny. The product I received was not like that at all - it is a true CREAM as opposed to liquid, imo. This isn't a problem for me but for those who don't like thicker skin products, be aware. Despite the thickness, I found it very blendable and easy to apply. I got #2, which is the slightly darker shade. It is described as being directed to yellower skins. When you squeeze it out of the tube it is pinkish, but it blends well into my skin, which definitely has yellow undertones. I'm not sure if this is one of those creams that changes color depending on who's wearing it because it matches me pretty well, so I'll have to check on this with some friends with different coloring. Packaging is cute, nothing special but not bad. Very hygienic - the hole you squeeze the cream out of is very small. My only problem with this product is a small one: the smell. It is fragrant in a really odd, creamy way. I can't figure out how to describe it other than "creamy." Anyway, it's not particularly a bad smell, I just don't care for it, and it goes away once applied to the skin so it's nbd. TL;DR - I really like this bb cream; it's thick but easy to apply and blend, feels like no makeup, decent coverage, yellow undertones, perfumed smell that goes away quickly. I have already repurchased two more tubes on sale on Amazon. The price (I got it for $11 a tube + shipping) is unbeatable for an product that accomplishes so much!
I normally don't like tinted balms, but this one is a really nice color, not to mention the color is pretty long-lasting. It's nearly the same shade as the Stila Cherry Crush lip stain I use frequently, except shinier and much more moisturizing. The weather has been dry and chilly lately, and my other balms had gone mysteriously missing, so I went to Sephora and picked one of these up. I did try the guava several years ago, which I loved for flavor and balm but hated for color. This one seems even better in terms of being a balm though! It's smooth and buttery, true to its name, and not sticky at all. I can definitely still feel it on my lips, which isn't something I enjoy, but I can deal with it. Only two small complaints: dislike the packaging, I don't want to dip my fingers into a deep red jelly to reapply, so I had to pick up a lip brush for it. I also dislike the flavor, not a fan of rose. I like my lip stuff to taste edible.
My favorite lip product, hands-down - I use it every day. It's not quite my HG though, still looking for that. The color makes me look like I've been chewing on my lips, and it lasts forever. It does fade eventually, but very slowly, and it doesn't fade in an unsightly fashion. I don't use it as blush so I can't comment on that, but it's fantastic as a lip stain. Complaints: hate the packaging; like many click tubes, this one tends to come out with either not enough or way too much of the stain. It's also pretty pricey for how long it lasts (usually 3 months for me).
Primer/ Corrector -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch)
joyonicity 11/28/2012 11:44:00 AM
One of the most expensive makeup products I've purchased considering its size, yet I would definitely buy again! It's got pretty but sensible packaging and the highlighter itself is beautiful. I don't wear much makeup daily other than eyeliner/mascara, colored lip balm, and concealer - no foundation - but this still brightened up my face. It's not very noticeable because it has very little shimmer, but once you go into the light you can really tell the difference.
When I ran out of rosewater and discovered that my local store didn't carry anymore, I settled for a ~$10 bottle of Burt's Bees Rosewater & Glycerin toner. I was so used to rosewater that I expected this to be about the same, but I was wrong; it smells much more strongly of alcohol than of roses, and actually irritated my skin. I do not have sensitive skin, as the bottle proclaims its contents are for, but it made my skin rougher and duller. I will not be buying this product again. Of course, the fact that I am young may contribute, as the product is recommended for "mature & sensitive" skin, but I always trusted Burt's Bees to have good, natural products. Apparently not on this one.
My mom got this and said it made her hair smooth, shiny, and nice-smelling, so I borrowed it and tried it. At first, it was wonderful; it did what she said it would, and I was very pleased. But I soon ran out, and I like trying new products, so I went around and found a new favorite (Frederic Fekkai's shine system). I ran out of THAT, so I borrowed my mom's Garnier Fructis again. I expected it to work well, but for some reason, it weighed my hair down and made it oily - and I've never had that problem with shampoos before. I'm really disappointed, because I had a nice experience before. Will definitely not repurchase.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
joyonicity 11/26/2008 6:14:00 PM
This product left a dewy finish on my skin that wasn't at all oily. It evened out my skin tone and added moisture to my parched face. Most tinted moisturizers don't offer coverage all that well, but this one is great. It doesn't wear off easily or become splotchy mid-day like most tinted moisturizers and foundations, and it doesn't look orangey, either. But...If you hold the tube to the light you will see that it is less than half full. Whether it is for the environment that they should package differently or simply to be honest to their clients as to what they are getting, they shouldn't double the size of the tube. I still feel like I'm wearing makeup, though, and I don't like that. Because of that, I will not repurchase, and I will try different tinted moisturizers.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Black Out Mascara
joyonicity 11/26/2008 5:49:00 PM
I used Diorshow first, and I was impressed, but disappointed in a few weeks when the formula started drying. This, however, has lasted two months now without drying, and it gives roughly the same effect: long, lush lashes with a beautiful, deep black color. Bonus: my lashes still look real! I got multiple compliments, and I was very pleased with the results of my mascara: my lashes were much longer and fuller, and they looked lush without looking fake. As an Asian with decent eyelashes, I always thought I needed to have the longest eyelashes possible. This mascara delivered that wish, and beautifully so. The formula is neither thick nor runny, and the color is a deep, velvety black that I like admiring.